Inspired by the tres-chic vibes of arguably the most beautiful city in the world – Paris, Nikki Star started her high-end meets practical brand Saint Rue, with a promise to keep the luxurious city girl in mind from design to distribution.
What made you start Saint Rue?
Between living in the city and travelling heaps with my dogs Weston and Fira, I noticed that there was a lack of luxury products made with both the city dweller and dog in mind. Not only did I want products that had street fashion edge but I was also after accessories that were functional and practical for life in the city, but couldn’t seem to find anything that fit this brief. I was inspired during my travels with my dogs in Europe, and especially in Paris, by the design and overall vibes, and people’s amazing sense of style. And this was where the idea for Saint Rue came to me from!
Why do you think so many pet owners are investing more and more in accessories?
I think people like everything they own to be an extension of their own style. Dogs are family members, so the things they wear are naturally going to be influenced by the owners style too. It’s like a combo package—twinning with your pet! People are also looking for high quality, luxury designs that are timeless, which is reflected in the products we sell.
What is something special that clearly distinguishes your brand and makes it unique?
There aren’t many brands out there that have street fashion in mind when designing dog accessories. Every Saint Rue product has been designed with both the city dog and parent in mind. Our products are all practical and stylish. Our leashes don’t get tangled while you’re walking your dog amongst the chaos of the city and our waist belt bags are hands-free, which are some of the design specifications I wanted to incorporate to make our products suitable for a busy lifestyle.
Where do you see the business in 5 years time?
I’d love for Saint Rue to be the go-to for functional yet stylish luxury goods that incorporates both travelling with your pets with fashion-forward pieces. We need better and more products available to us that make getting from place to place easier and help you look and feel like a fashionista!
What made you decide to give a percentage of your proceeds to Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services and Suicide Prevention?
Depression and anxiety have been a part of my life ever since I was a child. I knew that whatever business venture I was going to focus my energy on, I wanted to shine a light on mental health. It’s been amazing seeing such a movement in mental health the past few years and it needs to continue. I know I’m not alone when I say that Weston and Fira have helped me so much in terms of feeling less alone and feeling more connected to the world, and this is something I want to spread awareness about.